San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Celebrates 16 Years with Gala

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Courtesy of San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
Courtesy of San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum

Now in its 16th year, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido shows no signs of slowing down.

The nonprofit, which will host its annual spring benefit on April 2, recently launched new exhibits and expanded its access for all program. The access for all program is an initiative to allow as many children as possible to explore the museum’s exhibits.

“We’ve completed a $3.5 million capital campaign so now we can actually focus our energy on our access for all initiative,” Javier Guerrero, executive director, said. “There are pockets all around San Diego County and south Riverside (county) where we can identify and target schools and children who need us the most. The initiative is really limitless.”

The program includes providing memberships to low-income families and bringing the mobile museum to schools throughout the region. Guerrero said the museum will also launch a partnership with the County of San Diego to provide memberships for check-out at its 33 library branches.

The program will be the focus of this year’s annual spring benefit titled, “Oceania,” which will celebrate cultures and cuisines from the Pacific Islands.

Guerrero said the goal of the benefit is to raise $100,000. In the previous year, the museum’s benefit raised $70,000.

The event, which will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., will allow visitors to explore the new exhibits. Guests can also expect live music and dance performances from the Pacific Islands.

Guests will also enjoy dancing, photo booth, live and silent auction, opportunity drawing, and a “raise the paddle” to support the museum’s educational programming and initiatives to provide access to hands-on learning for children and families.

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum

“This will be a really fun evening raising money that is critical to support the educational programs at the museum and our continued growth,” Guerrero said.

But the access for all initiative isn’t the only thing that’s new and growing at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.

Guerrero said the museum recently launched its Kids Global Village, which allows children to explore different cultures. The museum also offers sensory-friendly mornings the first Sunday of each month that allow children with sensory sensitivities to explore the museum prior to it opening to the general public.

Other new programs include Farm Animal Fridays and workshops provided in conjunction with KPBS.

“We’ve grown and we’ve designed all of our new exhibits in-house,” Guerrero said. “Creating these experiences and making sure as many kids and families have access to them is our goal.”

Guerrero said the museum saw 140,000 visitors last year and expects to see 155,000 visitors this year. The museum also plans to increase access through a second mobile museum, which will be available in May.

To support the museum or attend the spring gala, go to visit www.sdcdm.org. Ticket prices for the gala range from $95 to $1,000.

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